Planeteer: Fireballs in Finland, LA gangs vs trendy latte drinkers, Japanese snow festival

Skanderberg Square, Tirana. Image by Les Haines / CC BY 2.0

Get the best travel news here curated by Lonely Planet Destination Editors, who use their expertise to bring you the stories that matter from all over the world. In today’s edition: the LA gangs defeated by gentrification, Finnish fireballs and a snow festival in Japan’s Sapporo.

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Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Europe Destination Editors: Jo Cooke, James Smart, Brana Vladisavljevic, Kate Morgan and Gemma Graham.

Skanderberg Square, Tirana. Image by Les Haines / CC BY 2.0

Tirana celebrates 400th anniversary this year
This year Albania’s capital Tirana celebrates 400 years since its foundation by Sulejman Pasha. The authorities will mark the anniversary by placing a foundation stone and other memorials in key locations around the city, and with numerous publications (including old and current maps), tours of the city, fairs and sports activities. Read more:

Greek authorities declare Kefallonia natural disaster zone
The Greek island of Kefallonia‎, hit by a strong earthquake (5.8 on the Richter scale) on 26 January and again on 3 February (5.7 on the Richter scale), has been declared a natural disaster zone by the authorities. The Ministry of Infrastructure has assessed many buildings as dangerous, and the port is currently being examined. Kefallonia is the largest of the Ionian islands and a significant part of it was destroyed by a strong earthquake in 1953. Read more:

Post-Olympic sculpture trail planned for London
A £3 million plan to create a sculpture trail in East London, stretching from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the O2 arena, has been backed by celebrities including Danny Boyle. The four-mile route heads past docks, parkland and industrial land, and could feature thirty sculptures. Read more:

Floods make Cork City a no-go zone
Ireland is facing another fortnight of floods, with more storms and coastal flooding forecasted – Cork City has already issued a tidal alert, and people have been advised to avoid the city centre tonight. Amid the gloom, a Limerick man has been praised for transporting around 200 flood victims across waterlogged areas of the city on a horse and cart. Read more:

Rotterdam’s new & improved Kunsthal art gallery has reopened
The Kunsthal in Rotterdam has reopened after a seven month closure following an extensive renovation. Architects, OMA, have redesigned the interiors to include a new entrance, cafe and bookshop as well as improvements to the building operations, which focused on sustainability and also heightened security, partly prompted by a substantial art theft at the gallery in late 2012. Read more:

Extreme avalanche alert in Austria
The highest avalanche alert warnings have been put in place in areas of southern Austria, following a snowstorm over the weekend that saw some of the heaviest snow for over a decade. Skiers have been warned that avalanches …read more


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